Instagram Introduces Its New Reels Shopping Feature, A TikTok Competitor


Instagram is on a roll — with new features that include its introduction of shopping to IGTV, its standalone video for Android and iOS smartphones. Also: an Instagram redesign included new tabs to spotlight Shops, its eCommerce section, and Reels, its area for creators’ short videos.

On Tuesday (Dec. 10), Instagram officially launched Shopping in Reels, a competitor to TikTok, TechCrunch reported. Reels are the short-form videos that that now have their own tab in Instagram.

Instagram, known as a photo-sharing app, is a division of Facebook, which announced plans to test the new Shopping in Reels this fall.

Reels is expected to appeal to creators and brands who hope to cash in on their offerings on the app. It will also allow users to add shopping tags to their posts. Customers can tap on the item and shop through the Instagram app or the retailer’s website, the news outlet reported.

“We don’t take these changes lightly — we haven’t updated Instagram’s home screen in a big way for quite a while,” Instagram said about the redesign in a statement last month (Nov. 12). “But how people create and enjoy culture has changed, and the biggest risk to Instagram is not that we change too fast, but that we don’t change and become irrelevant.”

The update makes shopping an even bigger feature on Instagram, TechCrunch reported, adding that video-based shopping is increasingly popular.

In fact, a growing number of startups focused on live-stream video shopping are pulling in customers. In recent months, investors have backed such live-shopping platforms as PopShop Live and Bambuser. Big Tech companies such as Alibaba, Amazon, Google and have hopped on the new trend.

In addition, Instagram rival TikTok has partnered with Shopify and is catering to brands that run ads on the app or are connected to influencers there.

Instagram pulls in revenues when users buy through the app and use Facebook Pay. The company also makes money off ads.